Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
Episcopal Commission on the Laity
Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas
(Council of the Laity of the Philippines)
We, the Filipino Catholic lay faithful signify our protest against all forms of threats to human life and dignity that are coming from the economic, social and political structures and authorities.
Filipinos have faced the worst threat to human life since Martial Law ended in 1986. In the first six months of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration, the war on drugs has claimed 6,200 lives (PNP data from June 2016 to January 9, 2017), a significant number of which are unexplained killings or killings while under investigation. Despite the widespread international and domestic clamor to investigate these incidents, the Duterte government has been unable to control much less give justice to the victims.
On top of the widespread deaths owing to the drug war, the legislative has been clamoring for the re-institution of the death penalty. Some say there is no need to make capital punishment official anymore since rampant summary killing has been going on unabated for months.
Death penalty, blatant murder and manslaughter are public knowledge; however, clandestine abortions- death of the unborn- remain as hidden crimes carried out in secret in homes, makeshift clinics, and specialty medical facilities. We also condemn and protest the total population control policy perpetuating the myth of overpopulation, influencing couples to resort to unsafe contraceptive methods, thus leading to abortion. How has the Department of Health implemented the revised Reproductive Health Law, prohibiting the distribution of chemical contraceptives that have not gone through Drug and Food Administration testing for abortifacient effect?
Much as we want to move ahead as a people and be at par with economically developed countries, passage of the divorce law will rather cause Filipino families to join the ranks of the millions of confused and socially deprived broken homes whose mothers are disempowered, and children left parentless and empoverished.
One observer mentioned that the main agenda of all these laws and proposed laws seems to be to make the family irrelevant and to prevent any more babies from being born. This observation has become even more relevant with the proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) bill that seeks to legitimize same-sex unions and equate union with the same sex at par with marriage.
The problem with all these laws seeking to destroy human life, marriage and family is that they are all intended to be measures of last resort: to be used in extreme cases and only when the situation warrants.
Abortion legalization law started this way, and the proponents lamented only much later that instead of being a measure to be the last resort, it became a primary option for pregnant women who did not consider anymore respect for the life in the womb.
When society opens its doors to welcome artificial contraception, abortion, divorce, legalized same sex union, it opens the minds of people to a particular mindset: that problems can only be resolved through termination of relationships, termination of persons—thus the ultimate, extreme solution to man’s personal problems is death. Euthanasia for the elderly, abortion for the unborn baby, death penalty to those whom we find hard to forgive. What is SOGI, but giving up on the meaning of one’s identity. Saying NO to what God has created and “killing” that person to be replaced by someone whom one has invented/ re-invented.
Truly these laws, measures and ideas that are being thrust into our marriage institution are anti-life. They are agents of DEATH. This is why CBCP Episcopal Commission on the laity through its lay arm, the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas wants to have a “grand procession” a “Walk for Life” on February 18, 2017 to once again express our choice: “We Choose LIFE; and We Condemn DEATH”. We encourage everyone who has even one preferred advocacy for human life and dignity to join the Walk for Life. Our venue cannot be missed. It is the Quirino Grandstand Parade Round in Manila. We kick off at 4:30 in the morning and end the program by 8:00 o’clock.
Bring your own placards with slogans, white and yellow flaglets & ribbons, tarpaulin banners, if you must. Bring the whole family and walk for the protection of the family and the next generation.
+ MOST REV. BRODERICK S. PABILLO ZENAIDA F. CAPISTRANO
Chairman National President
CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas
11 January 2017